- Why can't they get airline vegetarian meals right?
- When will airlines start to understand dietary preferences?
- I asked for plane food not plain food!
I had the Vegetarian burger made with lentils, carrot, cheese and mushrooms. It was served with salad in a bun with tomato sauce, a pickle and great crispy chips on the side. If I hadn't been in the mood for a burger, I could have even satisfied my nut roast cravings. They had a Christmas menu with a Lentil Mushroom Mozzerella and Pumpkin Seed Roast served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, cranberry and sage stuffing balls, seasonal vegetables. cauliflower cheese, gravy and cranberry sauce. All for £9.99. Sigh! I wish I was there now. Oh no I don't. Because then I would be headed for airplane meal hell!
about it before. We had unacceptably insubstantial meals a few times. I was so outraged that I finally got out my camera to photograph the vegetarian lacto-ovo meal. Above is the boiled potatoes, tomato vegie stew and green beans accompanied by a bread roll, some green vegies with two pieces of feta and some melon. You might notice that there is a dearth of protein here.
So here are some questions? Why are vegetarians being offered one vegetarian meal and omnivores being offered another more substantial vegetarian meal? The meal I was given was practically vegan. But even vegans need protein. (I am focusing on vegetarian meals but I know there are similar problems with other dietary preferences.) Do airlines have some misguided notion that nutrition guidelines only apply to omnivores?
Why do airlines make vegetarians feel like second class citizens based on their dietary preference? We all pay the same airfare. Yet I didn't get a choice of the vegetarian meal that everyone else could choose. I had to wait until everyone else was served to see if there was a meal leftover. Which left me unsure if I ate my first meal or waited. I ended up eating a bit of both and getting very grumpy. E has always had vegetarian meals so he can eat with us and because he doesn't like too much meat. After this experience, he has decided that next time he will have the omnivore meal.
I am even more cross about this because my 3 year old Sylvia is vegetarian and I get all protective about her. She needs protein as much as any omnivore child, if not more. it is frustrating to try and feed her at the best of times. On the way over, it was easier because I had some vegies and a tin of baked beans that she could eat. Going home, I just had to wait to get home for her to eat properly.
In fact, though I whinge, it is a first world problem. It is a privilege to be able to visit family so far away and I would (and probably will) eat the rubbish plane food all over again for such a great trip. Meanwhile I will try and let Etihad know my views and let you know if I get a response.
Update 10 Feb 2013 - I had a few comments suggest the Asian (Indian) Vegetarian meal. I tried this going to Auckland with Qantas last week. On the way over I got a dal and upma - quite spicy for me but not too much and was far more satisfying than the Etihad meals. On the way back I had gnocchi with mushrooms and beans and tomato sauce - not a bad meal but not sure what happened to the Asian meal. And we were all given chocolate coated ice creams after the meal. Hurrah for a decent dessert!